Exclusive: NHS England has decided to ditch the complicated NHS 111 call summaries in favour of a simplified system following serious concerns from GPs, Pulse has learned.
Talks are currently underway with NHS 111 commissioners to ensure that new-look simplified reports can be ‘universally adapted as soon as possible’, NHS England said.
The move follows complaints from GPs that they are having to wade through nine-page reports from NHS 111 providers after patients call the troubled helpline, with some practices having to even devote a staff member to looking at the summaries.
GP leaders said it was essential that the new summaries were implemented as soon as possible as the current system is a danger to patient safety.
The call summaries are sent to a practice every time a patient contacts NHS 111. Although practices do not always have to act on the reports, GPs have warned that they list reams of ‘irrelevant’ data and that key clinical information is often hard to spot.
A spokesperson for NHS England told Pulse: ‘We have constantly sought the views of practitioners and commissioners in relation to NHS 111, and we have acted quickly in response to comments on the complexity of post-event messaging communications.’
‘NHS England has worked with GPs and other clinicians to develop a new, simplified system and we are liaising with all NHS 111 commissioners to ensure it is universally adopted as soon as possible. We thank commissioners and clinicians for their continued collaboration with local, regional and national partners to make NHS 111 the very best it can be.’
Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the GPC, said that while the GPC had not yet seen the new-look reports, the revamp was ‘essential’.
He said: ‘The sooner they get on and do it and refine it to a report that is useful for practices the better.’
‘The information that goes through to practices through NHS 111 is extremely unhelpful, very verbose and long and potentially dangerous, because it provides so much information that you miss the important points within it that are clinically valuable.’